Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

The Sexual Politics of "Ides of March"

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik October 14, 2011 at 1:44AM

The Sexual Politics of "Ides of March"
1

For all the political talk around George Clooney's "Ides of March," there's an area of the film that I've been meaning to address and see if it raises further debate: What exactly is the sexual politics at play in a film that twists, turns and pivots around the issue of (spoiler alert) sex and infidelity. I had hoped going into the film that the corrupt actions of the central politician would revolve around something far more insidious than sexual improprieties (which is, after all, so 1998.) But here we are in 2011, and "Ides of March" posits young women as mere meat for powerful political figures. Or does it?

Evan Rachel Wood's intern Molly Stearns is one of the stronger characters in the film (and Wood's performance one of the film's strengths), and yet, she is also the most vulnerable. For those who've seen the movie, there's a third act switch revolving around a decision of Molly's that I found totally out of character for the strong and aspirational young woman. If females are disposable in the world of politics, does the film confirm they're also disposable for narrative cinema?

I also wonder about the other women in the film, as well: Jennifer Ehle's dutiful, but shrewd wife, who gets one scene to show she's more than the simple good mother she appears to be, and Marisa Tomei's four-eyed Jewish reporter, Ida Horowicz, who is no less manipulative than the male politicians she aims to scam for information, and so desexualized (which, for Tomei, seems out of place, or maybe just a bad casting choice).

I'm not sure about any of this, but I thought it was worth asking. Seems like I'm not the first ("'Ides of March' Has a Woman Problem"). What do you think?

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Bob Connors: The thing to remember is the video has some actual data but it's conclusions are far fetched and inaccurate. This is a Progressive propaghand…

Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

Mar 21th, 2015 8:47am

By Ostlee: This makes very sad reading - i feel for the people of Maldives. Everyone should boycott the island as a holiday destination until Nasheed…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 13th, 2015 5:35pm

By Ahmed Shahid: Release the first democratically elected president. The only president of Maldives who has reached the people of Maldives, heard them and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 12th, 2015 9:37am

By Hanne Neve: Please take care of your country and the climate by freeing your real selektet president.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 11th, 2015 9:09am

By Iqbal: Please release President Nasheed

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:27pm

By Martha Robertson: I strongly urge the immediate release of Nasheed!

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 9:37pm

By Ned Rollins: Bad business, going to bite you.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 3:47pm

By John Painter: The guy isnt a terrorist.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 12:00pm

By Sofia Vera: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 11:14am

By Margarett R Mulkey: A civilized society is required of the current government of the Maldives. The world is watching injustice and crimes, and many realized thes…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:53am